Deric Bownds’ MindBlog: When being a control-freak doesn’t help….

Deric Bownds’ MindBlog: When being a control-freak doesn’t help…..

via Deric Bownds’ MindBlog: When being a control-freak doesn’t help…..

 

In order to engage in goal-directed behavior, cognitive agents have to control the processing of task-relevant features in their environments. Although cognitive control is critical for performance in unpredictable task environments, it is currently unknown how it affects performance in highly structured and predictable environments. In the present study, we showed that, counterintuitively, top-down control can impair and interfere with the otherwise automatic integration of statistical information in a predictable task environment, and it can render behavior less efficient than it would have been without the attempt to control the flow of information. In other words, less can sometimes be more (in terms of cognitive control), especially if the environment provides sufficient information for the cognitive system to behave on autopilot based on automatic processes alone.

 

doi: 10.1177/0956797614528522

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